Why you can’t count out Chelsea in the UCL against Real Madrid just yet

Chelsea (Photo by Diego Souto/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)
Chelsea (Photo by Diego Souto/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images) /

Creating chances has not been easy for Frank Lampard’s Chelsea, but with 90 minutes left in the Champions League quarterfinal at home, the hope is still alive.

March 11, 2023. That is the last time Chelsea Football Club has won a football match. To be honest, that seems like an eternity ago given the kind of form this team has been in over the last few weeks. Since Lampard has taken the reins for the second time as head coach, the problems that have defined the club all season have continued. The west London outfit has scored just one goal through the last five matches in all competitions while conceding seven during that span.

There is a lack of desire from the players on the pitch that is needed to beat teams like Brighton and Hove Albion and Wolves. The Blues have produced an xG under one in the last two, looking toothless in the final third of the pitch. Five shots on target is generous for the type of attacking threat this team is posing night in and night out.

Without Ben Chilwell flying down the left flank, Lampard’s men have to execute at a much higher level than has been produced recently. Given the way team selection went against the Seagulls over the weekend, Lampard has not excuse to put out quality starting XI. The crowd will be electric, and while Lampard’s Premier League homecoming did not go as planned, the Champions League is a completely different animal.

While the hope for a two-goal comeback looks relatively bleak with all things considered, there is still reason to believe the west Londoners can pull out the improbable under the lights at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday night. Throughout this campaign, whether it is on the men’s or women’s side, the Bridge has been a fortress of magic for the west Londoners. In six matches in the Champions League this season, the Blues, as a club have not lost, prevailing in five out of the six contests at the Bridge.

Chelsea’s prolific record at Stamford Bridge this season in the CL provides a reason to believe Lampard’s men can piece together a comeback.

Opponents have found the back of the net just three times through those six matches. While two of these games were on the women’s side, the energy around west London in 2022-2023 during the Champions League has been through the roof. Even with the Blues losing three out of the previous four contests heading into the second leg of the tie against Dortmund, the west London outfit found a way through against one of the most in-form side in European football at the time.

The Blues have had an xG of over two in the last three European contests on home soil. It is going to be a massive week in Europe for the club. Real Madrid comes to west London on Tuesday before the Barcelona Women meet up with Emma Hayes’ side in the CL quarterfinal on Saturday afternoon. If Hayes’ side could pull off a one-goal comeback in the final 10 minutes of their quarterfinal, there is no reason why Lampard’s team can not give Madrid a run for their money with literally nothing to lose.

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